Focus Networks - Social-ecological transformations in agriculture: Transdisciplinary didactics and methods


"Focus Networks" funding line - Foundation for Innovation in Higher Education Teaching

Project time period

April 2023 - March 2026

Press release of the Foundation Innovation in University Teaching


The teaching network that has formed around the development of the Agriculture, Ecology & Societies (AGES) Master program is funded by the Foundation for Innovation in Higher Education Teaching. Its core task is to develop novel teaching and supervision around the double challenge of transdisciplinarity and transformative teaching. Innovations will initially be anchored in the pilot Master AGES, whose first cohort will began their studies in October 2023. We want to use the great interest and commitment for this degree program for a systematic reflection about transdisciplinary and transformative teaching and project learning, among teachers, students and the administration. Agrartrans2 provides the framework for this by, among other things:

  • Filling a coordinator position in which network activities are bundled and consolidated. 
  • Didactic workshops and individual coaching on core competences in team teaching, project-based teaching, transformation teaching and intercultural mentoring.
  • A student assistant position to support the implementation of interdisciplinary projects in small groups, and a project budget for excursions and the invitation of practitioners to the classroom. 
  • Professional development of hybrid learning materials for the AGES bridging modules. These introduce students with heterogeneous backgrounds (BA or BSc) to the transdisciplinary study of agricultural systems.
  • Development of an interactive simulation game on food system transformation. This is intended to pave the way for each AGES cohort to enter the field of socio-ecological systems analysis in a playful way, during an introductory weekend at the Frankenhausen seminar house (held each November).
  • An international workshop on the topic of Food System Transition(s) in Kassel, at which both content-related and methodological and didactic approaches are debated. In addition to lecturers, doctoral candidates and Master students will be given a platform, enabling them to establish contacts in the emerging field.

In addition, Agrartrans2 accompanies the first two cohorts of AGES students, as well as the development of the Master program itself, in a reflective didactics research project.